Da Elda Natural Retreat

Ledro Valley Italian Lakes & Verona, Italy Book from Book from £54 per night

Style on a budget: rustic guesthouse goes eco-modern among the forests and frosted mountains north of ravishing Lake Ledro
In the same family since 1949, this once-traditional village inn might have continued thus for another half century. But son and heir (and art college graduate) Andrea had other ideas, inviting a team of architects to reinvent the old building and add a radical new extension - a geometry of glass and timber, with cubic decks of outdoor space and eco-friendly thinking. The result is gasthof-meets-design-hotel: the same family ethos (mum, dad, daughter, baby, three-legged cat) but with space-age bathrooms and Philippe Stark chairs.

Lenzumo's shiny newcomer sits among apple trees in the heart of the Concei Valley - an alpine landscape of lush farmland, tinkling cowbells, low half-timbered houses with a touch of the Tyrol. To the south, the road wiggles down to the petite Ledro, one of the least known and most picturesque of Italy’s northern lakes. A few miles to the north the road peters out, making tracks into deep, dark forests of pine. This is where you do the proper eco thing, and just get out and walk.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • We were bowled over by the food. Fantastic traditional family recipes (specific to the area) meant we never wished for pizza or pasta
  • A corner of undiscovered Trentino: lakes and mountains without the crowds. It's less than 10 minutes' drive to Lake Ledro, where you can swim and hire water equipment
  • Five-star eco credentials - thermo insulation, solar energy and a low carbon footprint
  • Set in beautiful countryside, with views across open farmland to the snow-capped foothills of the Dolomites. There are mountain bikes to borrow, so you can easily get out and explore
  • A mini “bio spa” with a sauna, steam room and rainbow shower, plus a lovely outdoor pool

Lows

  • It's a bit out of the way - especially if you're looking for nightlife and bustle; Lenzumo is a quiet, rural village
  • Beyond the designer interiors, there’s nothing particularly hip about the hotel - think Birkenstock not Prada
  • The restaurant and dining room are over-lit and the full-board plan is a tad regimented (although amazing value)
  • Only one room can be made up as a twin
  • There's a 10% surcharge for stays of less than 3 nights

Best time to go

Come in spring for the wild flowers and apple blossoms, in summer for warm weather, in autumn for auburn woodland scenery, and in winter for snowy mountains and cross-country skiing. The hotel is closed in February.

Our top tips

Ask for a room at the back if you want the best views, or at the front for all-day sun. And don't underestimate the changeability of the weather in and around the mountains; it's worth bringing a raincoat and a couple of sweaters, even in summer.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 17
  • Restaurant and bar (half-board available)
  • All ages welcome.
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 17 rooms are spread across 4 types: Nest, Forest, Wood and Nature. The latter are more rustic, with a Heidi look, pine furniture and folksy checks reflecting their place in the older, original part of the building. The others are clean-cut and contemporary, and are the best ones to go for if you want the full-on design hotel experience.

Forest, a slightly more expensive mini-suite, is a fraction larger and has a lounge area with a sofa. But otherwise Forest and Wood rooms share the same features and style: light and spacious, with kingsize platform beds, white linen, wooden floors, funky modern furniture, and full-height glass doors leading onto a balcony with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. The clean neutral palette is cheered by the odd dash of colour - perhaps a big canvas of abstract art (some painted by Andrea), red designer chairs or lime-green patio furniture.

All rooms have satellite TV, a minibar, a free internet connection and heating. We loved the nifty bathroom pods, space-age cubicles of misted glass housing a wet-room shower and a basin, set in the corner of each Wood and Forest Room. The loos are accessed via the shower, and have a separate door. Nature rooms have showers and/or bathtubs. Nest is a cosier single room for one.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Most guests opt for half-board, which includes a continental breakfast buffet, an afternoon snack and a rustic-Italian 4-course table d’hôte dinner. Meals are served in a bright, functional dining room with views of the garden. Breakfast on our last visit was superb, with homemade bread, cheese, fresh orange juice, local hams and jams.

A typical dinner menu might include cold hors d’oeuvres (like prosciutto with melon), followed by a choice of 3 starters (carpaccio di carne salada, for example, or lasagna al forno), a choice of 3 main courses (perhaps gnocchi Boemi, a kind of steamed gnocchi made from bread dough stuffed with prunes and served with sugar, cinnamon and butter; or lamb chops with an almond crust), and a selection of desserts like crème brûlée or mascarpone cheese with wild fruit. Everything is made in-house, often from ingredients grown on the hotel’s own land.

If you want more choice, you can dine à la carte in the hotel's restaurant. And thanks to a quirk of village life, the food is unusual, too: the Zoppirolli family (Andrea’s maternal relatives), along with most of the local population, were sent to Czechoslovakia during the First World War. Those who returned a few years later brought an Eastern European flavour to the regional cuisine, and this is the place to try it out.

The hotel also has a good wine list and beer menu, and a small bar where you can sit and have a drink.

If you prefer to dine out, be warned that there is nothing much (other than basic bar food) this side of Pieve di Ledro. For recommendations further afield, ask at reception. It's only a few minutes' drive down the road to nearby towns with local restaurants.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Half-board available
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Just step out of the hotel and keep going - the scenery around here is stunning and perfect for hiking (or just driving around, though there’s only one navigable road through the valley)
  • Borrow a mountain bike (available from reception) and head north up the Concei Valley, where narrow tracks lead into deep forest
  • It’s less than 10 minutes' drive down to the shores of Lake Ledro, where you can admire the views, fish, do woodland walks and, in summer, hire boats
  • The fit can try scaling some of the peaks in the Ledro Alps, the highest being Monte Cadria (not to be underestimated, at 2,253m)
  • Most people come for the tranquil natural landscapes, but for shopping and street life, head for Riva del Garda, about half an hour’s drive away
  • Riva is the northern gateway to Lake Garda and from the town's quays you can hop on a boat to lovely Limone, or take a ferry to Malcesine (where a cable car climbs up Monte Baldo, a green and sometimes snow-capped mountain that's 1,760m high)
  • Back in the Concei Valley, trekking, canyoning, climbing and paragliding are among the many outdoor sports which can be arranged by the hotel
  • In winter, the area is also a paradise for cross-country skiers
  • Relax in the common areas at the hotel and lose yourself in a book for an hour or two, there are plenty to choose from
  • The hotel’s bio spa has a variety of treatments, including massages, aromatherapy, sauna, Turkish steam room and an area to relax in between sessions

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Canyoning
  • Climbing
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Trekking
  • Well being

Kids

Children are very welcome, who will enjoy the outdoor pool, and there are mountain bikes to borrow. Kids under 3 can stay in their parents' room for free, and rollaway beds and cots are available on request. Kids can play board games and read books in the hotel's common area.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Forest rooms are larger and have a semi-open shower.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Meal are available on request.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Outdoor pool with step entrance and isn't too deep
  • Mountain bikes to borrow

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Pedalos and boats to hire on Lake Ledro
  • Boat trips from Riva del Garda
  • Cable-car rides from Malcesine on Lake Garda
  • Climbing and canyoning for older kids

Distances:

  • Hospital: 20km (Arco), 40 km (Rovereto)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Da Elda Natural Retreat is in the small rural village of Lenzumo in the alpine Concei Valley. It's in the Trentino region of Italy, a few miles north of Lake Ledro and 18km west of Riva del Garda on the northern tip of Lake Garda.

By Air:
The nearest airports are Brescia (95km away) and Verona (110km away). You can also fly to Bergamo (145km away), Milan Linate (186km away) and Milan Malpensa (226km away), which are all within a 2.5-hour drive.

From the Airport
You'll need a car - see below.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, you can reach the Italian Lakes quite easily from London. See the excellent Seat 61 for details. The nearest railway station is Rovereto (40km away); there are daily bus connections from there to the Ledro Valley, but to get the most out of the area, a hire car is almost essential.

By Car:
For car hiresee our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Italy and getting around

Airports:

  • Brescia Gabriele D'Annunzio 95.0 km VBS
  • Verona Valerio Catullo 110.0 km VRN

Other:

  • Beach 4.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

We loved this hotel’s peaceful location, in a traditional village nestled beneath the mountains. The food was excellent and the half board option was great value. Our only gripe was that our Eco Room was a side room overlooking the car park.

8/10,

A lovely, quiet hotel in, for us, a great location slightly away from the tourist masses. Very friendly and efficient, with an excellent room. Our only comment is about food: good quality but a very restricted selection for more than a couple of days stay. Would stay again.

9/10,

We loved Hotel Elda. Our room was large, clean and comfortable. The gardens and pool were lovely and the views were sublime. All the staff were friendly, very helpful and the food was excellent. The gnocchi and homemade yoghurt deserve a special mention. We want to return as soon as possible.

10/10,

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